Morgan Gary did a lot of washing, drying and folding at laundromats when she was in college, and she didn't love the experience. "It was always really boring, nothing to do, and not very clean," Gary says. Later, when she was studying for her MBA in Sustainable Business, she decided to make the laundromat her thesis project. "I thought it was a very interesting business to explore that wasted so much water and energy and I really wanted to re-create it."
And the thesis project turned into reality. In March 2014, Gary opened Spin Laundry Lounge. " t's Portland, Oregon's first eco-focused laundromat bar and café," Gary says. "The first thing I did was get high-efficiency machines. The washers will save up to 30% of the water that traditional washers use and they use quite a bit less energy, as well," she says. "The high-efficiency equipment is definitely a larger upfront cost, but it made sense from an environmental and a financial standpoint," she adds. "I'm also able to save quite a bit on utilities every month, which is a huge bonus."
"One of my favorite features about the machines is their text messaging capabilities. If you send the washer a text message, it will respond back to you when it has ten minutes left and then when it's finished," Gary says.
And don't worry about having change for the washers and dryers at Spin. The machines will take quarters, credit or debit cards or a payment using your smart phone.
"While you're waiting for your laundry, you can relax in the café where we have a full coffee shop -- coffee, tea, beer, wine, sandwiches, salads. And all of our ingredients are local and organic, when possible," Gary says. "You can go up to the mezzanine, we have pinball and arcade games and a shuffleboard table and a nice couch for reading," Gary added.
"The environmental aspect of the business was the most important to me. I really wanted to focus on creating the most energy-efficient and sustainable laundromat that I could," Gary says. " I really hope that it is an example for future laundromats. It's very important to continue to save water and energy and make a big impact on the environment."